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feline herpes

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If your kitty cat shows flu like symptoms,running nose,cough, tearing eyes, ulcerated eyes, constipation, very small size, even a closed eye that might be herpes. You might want to read up on chlamydia, a bacterial disease which also has similar eye symptoms. (Also read up on zithromax, which supposedly greatly helps chlamdyia. There is also calici virus with similar symptoms and sometimes ulcer in mouth. Some other links to articles may be found at click for other links Bacterial and viral conditions respond to different medications. Also many kitty cats have both herpes and chlamydia.
Snowy, my precious kitty cat whom I adopted as a 6 month old wasn't diagnosed for herpes until I switched vets and after his first prolapsed colon. A famous hospital in NYC just said he had snot coming out of his nose. I am convinced that the herpes virus and the frequent antiobiotics created the situation that led to the constipation and prolapse.
Yuki is prone to urinary infections. This might also be related to feline herpes..the jury is still out. What have I learned? I am not a vet and these are just suggestions

Possible Way of getting Lysine which seems to help our kitty cats and which is recommended by so many opthamologists for eye related herpes problems-and general vets for herpes related problems.
Many in the group either buy powdered lysine or have bought a mortal and pestle and crushed the tablets and put the tasteless powder over the food or pill the kitty. If these aren't the options for you..you may consider this which is more expensive..(l-lysine is over the counter and cheap..but this one is throught your vet and not cheap..

Subject:
liquid lysine or lysine treats.. a possible source
http://www.animalpharmacy.net/index.htm possible prices for three month supply for 500 miligrams 60 - 75 .. possible prices for three monthly supply for same in treat form with liver,beef or fish flavor 90-115 dollars... these prices were calculated quickly so don't hold the person at animal pharmacy a compounding pharmacy to them...he has a 115 flavors for the liquid form and even knew of a cat that loved bubblegum flavor.. he said he couldn't offer bulk because of the FDA and their policies..once you step into a form of manufacturing arena the rules drastically change..he can't offer anything over the counter...at first he suggested I just get lysine at drugstore and I explained my predicament...next he said all had to be with a doctor's prescription..a vet's prescription..so you would have to order it for through your vet... then I asked him if there were no flareups could you add water to the 500 dosage to 250 when the kitty cat was stabilized..he said you wouldn't have to do that...all you would do is use the dropper it came with and just use half the amount of cc's..... As he hasn't fulfilled requests for these items..HE HASN'T CHECKED THE STABILITY OF LYSINE IN LIQUID...IE WILL THE AMINO ACID STILL BE GOOD OR EFFECTIVE AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME...OR WILL THERE BE BACTERIA OR WHATEVER...I GUESS I MIGHT TRY TO DO A SEARCH ON THE WEB...ANYBODY OUT THERE KNOW OR KNOW A CHEMIST WHO MIGHT KNOW?

Gentamicin and Chronic Sinus problems with Herpes Kitty cat contains information about using gentamicin which might help your kitty cat who has sinus and tear duct problems from scarring from the herpes virus.



ASTHMA-A NEW PRODUCT

Widgie's companion felt that sometimes vet's miss asthma's cough for something else and so writes"My Widgie was coughing maybe once a day (usually around 4 am) and also started the reverse sneezing thing. BUT Widgie has never had feline herpes. She has feline asthma which went untreated for years because we could not put her on prednisone, which is a steroid. Now, thanks to inhaled steroids, she no longer coughs and her reverse sneeze is gone. She uses FloVent with a spacer and mask. Up until this weekend, we used a pediatric spacer device. Now there is a spacer/mask designed just for cats...the AeroKat. We have one of the first spacers that were made available. It is more comfy for her and will provide more medication to her lungs. The inhaled meds eliminate the bad side effects of using steroids since it goes only to the lungs.For the best link on feline asthma I've seen, go to www.fritzthebrave.com which shows great pics of cats using inhaled meds and a wealth of info for cat owners and for vets!. www.yahoogroups.com/group/felineasthma and www.yahoogroups.com/group/felineasthma_inhaledmeds are yahoo groups you can ask information and share. "
the website for AeroKat is www.aerokat.com.
Laurie wrote:

The reason I've been trying to post is that Jack had another flare up, this time his eye ulcerated. That's a first. He had all the rest of the usual symptoms. I took him to my vet I've been using for about the past year and he made up this eye drop concoction that consisted of mucomist, baytril, ophthalmic solution, artificial tears and atrophine. I administered it 5X/day. Within 8 days the ulcer was healed, there was no scarring at all. Both times the eye was examined under a fluoroscope (sp?). I wanted to share that information and to let everyone know about this. Dr. Burgess from God's Creatures is the vet that treated him and he's allowing me to share his phone number if there are other vets out there who may want to contact him for his "recipe". His phone number in Stuart Florida is (772)219-8022.


Troublesniffer's companion mentioned on the herpes thread a gentle restrain for kitty's that are hard to give medication to....The Cat Sack. You might want to check it out.

I found one article that suggests idiopathic urinary infections may be related to viruses.
Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1996 Mar;26(2):281-96 : Viral infections of the feline urinary tract.
Kruger JM, Osborne CA, Venta PJ, Sussman MD.
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA.

The exact cause of hematuria, dysuria, and urethral obstruction remains unknown in a large percentage of naturally occurring cases of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). One attractive hypothesis implicates viruses as the cause of some idiopathic forms of FLUTD; supporting this hypothesis is the fact that a gamma herpesvirus, a calicivirus, and a retrovirus have been isolated from urine and tissues obtained from cats with this type of disease. Although the clinical course and laboratory findings of cats with idiopathic FLUTD are suggestive of an infectious cause, the question of whether viruses have a pathologic role in some forms of naturally acquired FLUTDs has not been completely answered.

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Dr. Dennis Hacker, Dr.Margaret Muns and Dr.Elizabeth Hodgkins gave me permission to post their information regarding feline herpes on this website. They have not approved the links I have included on this site. I do want to thank them so very much. I do hope you visit their respective sites and gather more information and help. This page is dedicated to my Snowball and all the very special kitty cats who suffer from the virus. I have just added a new page about Shakespeare and his diet and the wonderful care he has been given by his companion by Darlene. Please click here for Shakespeare and treating herpes. I added a page written by Spirit Cat who takes care of more than sixty incredible kitty cats. She has had vast hands on experience with rescues who have herpes. I now understand when she often writes"some people have lives and others have cats"-click for mooseheartmews
Dr. Hacker's article
Reprint from PetEducation on Upper Respiratory Diseases in Cats-
Dr.Muns's article
Related Herpes Links
Dr.Dennis Hacker's Website
Dr.Margaret Muns Website-

Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM
I am a veterinarian and an Ocicat breeder who has some knowledge and experience with feline herpes virus infection. First, I would caution everyone against the use of L-lysine in young cats at the dosages required for efficacy. The rationale for the use of this amino acid is the disruption of viral reproductive capabilities through unbalancing of the amino acid "environment" of the virus. Naturally, the cat's amino acid environment becomes somewhat unbalanced as well. This can be tolerated well by adult cats, but not by younsters, especially those less than 6 months of age. Also, idoxuridine opthalmic drops are very effective and although somewhat expensive, are well worth the cost if the disease, and permanent effects, can be eliminated using this drug. A good opthamic anti-viral ointment is Vira-A, costing about $30 a tube, and the idoxuridine drops cost about the same for about 10 ml (an amount that will tyically treat several kittens with herpes for several days). Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM
Dennis Hacker-please click on this to go to his very informative website
One of the more common ophthalmic problems seen in our cat patients is infections caused by herpesvirus. This virus causes conjunctivitis (inflammation of the moveable white tissue surrounding the eye) and/or corneal ulcers. Occasionally sneezing and mouth ulcers occur in some patients. We hope this paper will give you information concerning this common condition.

WHAT DOES A VIRUS DO?

A virus is not alive in the sense that you, I, your cat and even bacteria are alive. A virus is a capsule that contains only protein or nucleic acids known as DNA. This DNA is the building block that makes all of us who and what we are. As it is not alive, a virus particle cannot reproduce without a living cell to which it is able to attach itself. Once attached to a susceptible cell (a cell that will support the virus growth), the viral DNA (vDNA) is injected into the cell. The vDNA then continues to the cell nucleus that is the 'control center' of the cell. The vDNA then inserts itself into the cell's DNA. This causes the cell to start manufacturing new virus particles. To do this, the cell takes nucleic acids and proteins from the area surrounding itself and uses them to form new vDNA. This concept is important in how we must treat viruses that we will see below.

WHAT IS HERPESVIRUS?

Feline herpesvirus is specific to cats. There are also dog herpesvirus, people herpesvirus, cow herpesvirus, chicken herpesvirus and horse herpesvirus. In fact, most animals have their own type of herpesvirus. These viruses will not infect other species, i.e., when a cat has herpesvirus, the owner has nothing to fear as far as getting the disease. Herpesvirus is a common respiratory pathogen (infectious agent) that causes an upper respiratory disease in most cats. The virus is everywhere and it infects most cats in almost every cattery in the country. It is our belief that almost every kitten is exposed to this virus following birth as the virus is often found in the birth canal of the queen. As a respiratory disease, the virus is acquired by aerosol, that is one cat sneezing around another cat. The virus is killed by drying and sunlight but can live for many hours in a moist, cool environment. The problems associated with herpesvirus depend on the age at which the cat first acquires the virus. Neonatal conjunctivitis occurs in kittens who have not yet opened their eyes. In young cats, 6 months to 4 years, conjunctivitis (redness of the white of the eye) A young kitten with neonatal conjunctivitis. The arrow indicates an infection which had developed behind closed eyelids.

neonatal conjuntivities

A young kitten with neonatal conjunctivitis. The arrow indicates an infection which had developed behind closed eyelids.

Herpes conjunctivitis

Herpesvirus conjunctivitis in a juvenile kitten.

and possible corneal ulcers (erosions) may occur.

Herpes

Adult cat with herpesvirus corneal ulcers. Dendritic ulcers are indicated by the arrow.

Herpesvirus conjunctivitis in a juvenile kitten. and possible corneal ulcers (erosions) may occur. Adult cat with herpesvirus corneal ulcers. Dendritic ulcers are indicated by the arrow. In older patients, conjunctivitis is most often seen. Sneezing may or may not be seen in any of these patients. Most often, our patients have had a long-standing history of conjunctivitis and/or corneal ulcers that will not heal. We have seen cats who have had herpesvirus infections for as long as 12 years! When herpesvirus invades nerve tissues, a possibility of relapse exists. Perhaps only 15-to-20% of the cats with herpesvirus infections have relapses, yet this possibility must be kept in mind. As many of my clients know, human herpesvirus may cause the skin conditions known as 'cold sores' and 'shingles.' As with 'cold sores' and 'shingles, ' any stressful episode may cause a recurrence of the infection. In cats, a relapse may be triggered by the owner leaving town and a stranger coming in to feed the cats, being boarded, or strangers or new animals coming for a visit. We have one patient that has a new episode of herpesvirus every time the client leaves town for a business trip. Knowing this helps us understand the recurrence of redness following a stressful episode. This redness indicates a probable return of the herpesvirus infection and requires re-institution of the medication. Again, these relapses do not occur commonly.

HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE HERPESVIRUS?

Herpesvirus infection should be suspected anytime a cat has an eye problem that does not respond to antibiotics (which have no effect on viruses). To diagnose a herpesvirus infection, after applying a topical anesthetic, a scraping of cells is made from the eye and placed on a slide. The slide is submitted to a laboratory for a specific test procedure known as an Polimerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. This test is quite specific when compared to other tests. A different staining test can be performed which is known as the Indirect Flourescent Antibody Test (IFA). While the IFA test is not as precise as the PCR test, performing both tests simultaneously gives a better infection indicator as to whether your cat does or doesn't have herpes than either test alone. Another test that can be used is virus isolation that actually grows the virus in tissue cultures. This test takes up to 1 month and is quite costly.

HOW DO YOU TREAT HERPESVIRUS?

If you or your child has a bacterial infection, a strep throat for example, penicillin may be given and the penicillin will kill the strep organism and the infection will go away. This is because the bacteria are alive and reproducing all the time. As mentioned earlier, a virus is active only when it gets into a cell. This is why antibiotics do not kill viruses. Since the living cells must bring in nucleic acids and proteins (protein building blocks) from the local cellular environment to make new viruses, the only way to kill susceptible viruses is to put abnormal proteins and nucleic acids in the environment. This is the way herpesvirus is killed. We use medications such as Herplex®, Viroptic®, or Vira-A® to introduce abnormal proteins into the environment. The infected cells draw these proteins into itself and use them to make new virus particles. These virus particles will then not be able to reproduce. Because we do not know how long it takes to kill all the virus particles this way, treatment must be continued for 4-to-6 weeks or longer! Occasionally, patients need to be treated longer. Herpesvirus can become resistant to these medications. This does not happen often, yet this fact should be kept in mind, especially if a patient initially improves and then relapses. If resistance occurs to one medication, a change to another medication can be made. If resistance occurs to all the commercial eye medications, an oral drug called Zovirax® (acyclovir) may be prescribed. This drug appears to work well in humans and rabbits, yet the full spectrum of its side-effects is not known in the cat. This drug is reserved for the most resistant cases. Eye medications must be applied often. This means 5 times a day! For clients who do not work or working clients on weekends, the medication is applied every 3 hours for 5 treatments. During the week for clients who work, I recommend treating when you awaken, before leaving for work, when you get home, half-way between arriving home and bedtime, and bedtime. This is 5 times a day although they are not equally spaced. One other aspect of these anti-herpes medications should be kept in mind. That is that any protein has the ability to cause an allergic response! You may know of someone who wears soft contact lenses. If they fail to clean the lenses to remove their body proteins, an allergic reaction occurs which may be quite irritating. As stated above, you are applying abnormal proteins directly into the eye of your pet. If you notice the eye and eyelid becoming quite red, you must call us immediately. Due to the possibility of the allergic response and the virus becoming resistant to the medication, re-examinations are critical. In addition to the medication previously discussed, we will probably dispense two others: Interferon and lysine. Interferon is a natural chemical produced by the body to fight off viruses. The application of this to the eyes five times daily induces the patient to produce more of their own interferon. We have also found that after the active infection is controlled, the use of interferon even once a day seems to help prevent relapses! Finally, lysine has been shown to help kill herpesvirus. Lysine is very safe in cats. If it is possible to give your pet tablets by mouth, lysine has been a definite help in cats with herpesvirus infections. If all three medications are prescribed for your pet, you will be using Herplex® (idoxuridine), interferon and lysine. The idoxuridine is applied to the eye(s) five times daily as stated above. Interferon is applied to the eyes five times daily and one minute after the idoxuridine. Lysine is given by mouth twice daily and may be mixed with food although the best way to give it is to simply pop it down the mouth. Although herpesvirus infections are treatable, the infections can be frustrating because not every cat can be treated the same as all others. Sometimes medication must be changed to provide results. Patience from everyone, you, your cat and your ophthalmologist is required. Copyright © 1998 * Animal Eye Specialists, El Cerrito, CA. * All Rights Reserved Dr.Dennis Hacker gave me permission to repost his article His website is at Animal Eye Specialist
Dennis Hacker, D.V.M., DIPLOMATE, A.C.V.O. (Veterinary Ophthalmologist)
10324 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530
510-559-1755
510-559-1757 Fax


Margaret Muns, DVM
click to visit Dr. Muns bulletin board
Here's some info that'll help. If a cat has FHV-1 it'll be a carrier for life. If it doesn't flare, it's either got a good immune system OR it's not a carrier after all.

Herpes viruses will remain in animal for life if it is a latent carrier. NOTHING will get rid of it. Nothing except a stress free environment perhaps) will prevent a flare. SOME people have used Interferon, but even that is iffy..

So here's some info (from an old post)

Here's what I have in my ophthalmology textbook (published 1991):

Feline herpes virus is the most well known cause of infectious conjunctivitis (inflammation of the tissues lining the inside of the eyelids and the exterior of the eye) in the cat. More commonly, this virus is also known as the feline rhinotracheitis virus.

The typical clinical syndrome of primary feline herpes virus infection is an acute conjunctivitis/respiratory infection in kittens or adolescent cats. Sneezing and eye/nasal discharge is commonly seen. Usually, a course of 10-14 days is the rule. However, incubation time and
duration of illness depends on the quantity of virus the cat is exposed to.

In most cases, the primary infection resolves with no residual eye disease. However, following recovery from primary herpes virus infection, approximately 80% of cats will become what is called latently infected. This basically means that they become carriers of
the virus. About 45% of cats that are latently infected (carriers) will experience spontaneous reactivation of the virus during their lifetime. When the virus reactivates, the cat will show clinical signs of conjunctivitis. Some cats may not show clinical signs and only just shed the virus during episodes.

Feline herpes virus can also cause conjunctivitis in adult cats that presumably have been exposed to, and recovered from the virus earlier in life. In these cats, there is no history of respiratory involvement. Another distinguishing feature in this syndrome of infection is that these cats usually have a unilateral eye infection. Cats affected with the respiratory form will have bilateral disease.
The disease in adult cats is further differentiated from the acute respiratory syndrome by the tendency for the problem to become chronic and recurrent in nature.

Sometimes, feline herpes virus can be associated with inadequate tear production in the eye. This is something that should be watched for. Feline herpes virus can also infect the cornea (the clear portion of the eyeball) and cause small branching corneal ulcers. All cats with
suspected herpes infection should have the eyes stained to look for the ulcers. Because these ulcers can be very shallow, the veterinarian may need to use Rose Bengal stain instead of flourescein. you need to know if the cornea is involved because that will dictate
your treatment options.

Treatment of feline herpes virus conjunctivitis is non specific. Because a virus is responsible, there is little you can do to eliminate the primary pathogen. Instead, you usually are limited to going after the secondary bacterial invaders. Tetracycline ophthalmic ointment is indicated because of its efficacy against Chlamydia and mycoplasmal infection. It should be applied four times daily.
Sometimes, cats may find this medication very irritating. If that occurs, a different antibiotic should be given. Cortisone should never given to these cats because of its immune suppressing properties and because they may have corneal ulcers.

Specific anti viral therapy is possible, but, according to my text, it is usually reserved for the more chronic and severe cases. I do have a 1993 article that advocates using both antibiotics and anti viral medication herpes conjunctivitis. However, they point out that the
efficacy of topical anti viral medication in controlling herpes virus conjunctivitis without corneal involvement is undetermined. Instead, Anti viral medications should probably be reserved for cases with corneal involvement. Mild corneal lesions usually respond fairly dramatically to applications of anti viral ophthalmic ointment.

I really don't have anything about giving oral antibiotics to these cats. You really don't even give oral anti viral medication. Again, oral medication is going to never get to the cornea and conjunctiva. Topical medication is more appropriate.

If a cat has confirmed feline herpes virus infection, then expect relapses during his lifetime. This will never go away. Chances are, he will carry the virus for life. He probably won't become a chronic sneezing kitty. Instead, he will become a chronic eye infection kitty.

As for the other cats. The only thing you can do is keep their vaccinations up to date. Feline herpes is included in the routine combination distemper vaccination for cats. Vaccination is never 100% effective, but that's the only protection we have.

As for specific anti viral medication. Usually, you use ioxuridine ointment or Trifluridine solution. Like I said before, these things can be pretty irritating. You can't give anything like oral azt because of extreme toxicity with those medications.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions.

Margaret Muns DVM
Staff Veterinarian, Best Friends Forum
First of all, let's clear up some terminology. You don't see FVR in the newer literature.FVR was the old name for the disease called Feline rhinotracheitis. We now designate this infection as being rhinophenumonitis caused by the Feline Herpes virus type 1 virus. So you will see this a FHV-1 in the recent literature. It's important to could this up because I'll be using recent literature references to help answer your question.
Were these cats confirmed as being feline herpes virus 1 carriers by a good medical workup? The reason I ask is that it is very difficult to "know" that a cat has FHV-1 definitively. That is because several pathogens in the feline upper respiratory disease complex (herpes virus, calicivirus, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and Bordatella) may be present in the same environment. Clinical symptoms associated with several of these agents may be similar and often there is more than one agent involved in producing a given cat's upper respiratory/ocular symptoms. The presence of keratitis and corneal ulceration is a specific diagnostic clue that strongly implicates the involvement of FHV-1. (Wolf A M. Other Feline Viral Diseases. In: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Fifth edition, volume one. Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC, editors. WB Saunders, Philadelphia 2000. 444-453)
Routine hematology and biochemical profiles are not helpful in diagnosing FHV-1 infections and usually reflect general debilitating effects of viral ailments. Virus isolation is best performed on conjunctival or pharyngeal swabs from acutely infected cats. Attempts to isolate virus from chronic carrier cats may be disappointing because FHV-1 is shed only intermittently. Conjunctival and nasal scrapings or biopsies can be evaluated for typical intranuclear herpes virus inclusions, by cytologic or histologic examination, or by immunofluorescent antibody testing. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is a more specific and sensitive method for detecting FHV-one infection in both acutely infected and chronic carrier cats (Wolf, 2000)
Following recovery from acute FHV-one infection many cats become chronic carriers. Virus is shed periodically in these animals (it's not constant-that is very important). Episodes of viral shedding are often associated with stress or cortisone administration. Clinical signs of illness are often absent and chronic FHV-1 carriers so they are difficult to identify. But they can be a source of infection for in contact cats. Some chronic carriers have intermittent (again that's important) signs of keratitis/conjunctivitis or mild rhinitis during a relapse of viral activity. (Wolf, 2000)
This last paragraph is very important! These cats show intermittent symptoms. They do not have continual symptoms as a rule. The exception would be if you have a cat with severe corneal ulceration. That can take a longtime to get under control. But in most cases, these cats have attacks and then it's over again until the next attack.
There is nothing you can do to get rid of the virus. If these cats are FHV-1 carriers in truth, then they will have the virus for life. It will never go away. Apparent recoveries happen because the virus goes latent again. It's not because a particular medicine worked to clear the virus. Instead, the virus was suppressed enough to allow the immune system to shove it back down into latency. All herpes viruse act like this. L-lysine will not get rid of it although some opthalmologists do recommend it ( Wolf, 2000). Ophthalmic antiviral agents can be used for animals with herpes virus keratitis. You have to give it to them 4-6 times a day, and medicines can be quite irritating. Most cats will vigorously resist when this medication is put in their eyes. Some people have advocated using oral alph interferon to suppress the virus. But that has had limited success. The use of systemic antiviral therapy to treat FHV-1 infections is controversial. Acyclovir can be very efficacious for treating human herpes simplex, but FHV-1 has been shown to be resistant to its effects. Other drugs in the same category can be highly toxic to cats. (Wolf, 2000)
The discharge your seen from the eyes is discharge that happens whenever eyes become irritated. It's the same thing that happens whenever other tissues get irritated. A clear discharge usually indicates an inflammatory response, while thick green or yellow discharge indicates secondary bacterial infection. FHV-1 can be shed in ocular secretions as well as oral nasal secretions. (Wolf, 2000)
Hope this helps. I think the most important saying you have to take away from this information is that you will be struggling with this for the lifetime of the cats if this is truly FHV-1. Nothing will get the virus out of their bodies. You may get a remission. But you will not get resolution or cure. They will relapse at one time and there is no way to predict when that will happen.
Feel free to ask any other questions.
It depends what stain was used. Rose Bengal stain can identify superficial dendritic herpes ulcers that are not deep enough to stain with fluorescein. So if the Vet put in fluorescein and it didn't stain that didn't necessarily mean that there weren't dendritic herpes virus ulcers there. It may have meant that the ulcers were not deep enough yet to stain with fluorescein. By far, fluorescein stains are the most commonly used ocular stains in private practice. But don't think too many people have Rose Bengal. Again, I have seen plenty of cases of ulcerative keratitis in dogs and cats. I'm ranking my brain to think of an uncomplicated case that had pupil changes. That you can see changes in the pupil if you have a very deep ulcer (descemetocele) or a perforation. But a superficial ulcer should not have changes in the pupil. The pain from the ulcer comes from spasming of the iris muscles. That's why with deeper ulcers you use atropine because it is a cycloplegic. Now in cats, you have to use atropine containing medications carefully. If the atropine gets into the tear duct system, aching drain into their mouth. Atropine is very bitter, so it can make them foam at the mouth profusely. I'm rather ticked that upon re-check, this Vet ordered the eye drop w/ steroid in it......seeing how the UNDIAGNOSE ulcer was still there.......wouldn't it be common sense that this would be extremely contraindicated?? That is why I stopped it after 3 days....from the reading I was doing about risks of using steroids w/ ulcers...and the fact that her eye seemed to be getting WORSE, not better (which of course is curious..because you'd expect the steroid to decrease the inflammation, which it definitely wasn't!). Should I complain to this Vet for ordering this? It really upsets me to think using this could have done HORRIBLE damage to the eye.....what if I would have continued using it for the full 5 days? I shudder to think. Was this negligent on her part? I can't be untruthful: it is extremely contraindicated to put any cortisone containing medications in an eye that has, or may have an ulcer. That is because the steriod impairs corneal healing. Now, in defense of the veterinarian, if there wasn't stain retention with fluorescein, then I can see why a cortisone medication could be prescribed. But in your first post you said "after a couple days, decided to get to vet to be on the safe side. Vet examined eye, noted an ulcer (she also used some type of dye/stain to examine the eye surface). She figured ulcer was due to scratch from one of my other cats." So I took that is meaning that an ulcer was diagnosed at the first visit. A medication called fucithalmic ointment was prescribed with instructions to try this for five days. At the next visit the ulcer remained in the corneal looked cloudy so then Gentocin Durafilm was prescribed. That's where I got into a tizzy because it looked like a cortisone preparation had been prescribed for case with a known unresolved ulcer. That is a big no-no! But, if the ulcer wasn't there, that's a different story....... It's true, you can usually have a pretty good guess at the diagnosis of feline herpesvirus keratitis based on the symptoms. Confirmation of diagnosis can be done by looking for inclusion bodies on conjunctival scrapings. In addition, there is a PCR test available for feline herpesvirus. According to my references is a more specific and sensitive method for detecting infection in both acutely infected and chronic carrier cats ( Ettinger 2000). You just have to find a veterinary reference laboratory that will perform the test since it is not probably that widely available. Other options for diagnosis include immunofluorescent antibody testing. But again, you have to send that out to a veterinary reference laboratory. As for this pupil thing, I've been doing some reading on Horner's Syndrome......which is where one pupil appears LARGER than the other, but the larger pupil is actually the NORMAL one. Some of the causes I believe are trauma to the eye, tumors, etc, correct? ....I also read of a condition called (sp?) anisocoria...in which one pupil is a different size than the other Horner's syndrome is one type of anisocoria. Anisocoria just means "unequal pupil size". It can be caused by many different conditions in cats. Reported causes of Horner's syndrome in cats are external ear canal disease, middle ear disease, thoracic neoplasia (lymphoma), cervical trauma from bite wounds and car accidents, complications of thyroid surgery, carotid artery catheterization, traumatic brachial root avulsion, spinal cord neoplasia and trauma to the orbital sympathetic fibers. Horner's syndrome can also be idiopathic in cats. miosis (small pupil) is the most consistent clinical sign of feline Horner's syndrome and it is usually accompanied by some degree of third eyelid protrusion. Enophthalmos and ptosis occur commonly but less consistently. In one study of 16 cases, the clinical signs resolved in the majority of animals within 32 weeks suggesting that the prognosis in general is good. (Gelatt 1991). Are you anywhere near a veterinary college hospital? If so, you can have kitty seen there if you want another opinion. Clearly it's bestter to make SURE the pupilary changes are something relatively benign like perhaps idiopathic Horner's instead of uveitis. If you can't get that much then the other option is to find out where you can go to GET that info. The l-lysine probably won't hurt. I for one try to adhere to accepted literature references as it's the only way to have some accountable standard to go on. I tend to NEVER go with something I read on line unless I can back it up with hard data. But that's just the "old fashioned" hard line approach I've always used and it's never let me down in 14 years. Too many docs get into trouble by "inventing" their own version of medicine IMO. Hang in there! Margaret Muns DVM Staff Veterinarian, Best Friends Forum Staff Veterinarian, Best Friends Forum

A lovely woman posted this on the felineherpes group re corneal ulcers-please read it and ask your vet if your kitty cat has corneal ulcers
After a bad chlamydia infection in her eye, my cat had a rather large corneal ulcer. A lady from South Africa responded to my request for suggestions about how to deal with this. She said that two South African veterinarians discovered that aspirin heals corneal ulcers and that she has not had a problem with them since finding this out. Here is what she said: The dosage is as follows- to be given orally. 20mg/kg (no more no less) of soluble aspirin in water given alternate days for 5 days. i.e. 1 dose Monday, . 1 dose, Wedmesday. 1 dose Friday per mouth. Mix the dose with a small amount of water ie. 1/2 cc/ml Continue with any eye meds in the eye until at least 5 days after it has cleared. Adjust dosage for a kitten to 10mg/kg (2.2 lbs) For simplicity's sake I have been using 1 baby aspirin (81mg) as the dosage and then giving her terramycin ointment in her eye twice a day. In less than 48 hours after giving her the first aspirin, I could see the needed red blood vessels forming around the edge of the ulcer. She will receive her third and final dose later today and upon inspecting the eye this morning, the ulcer looks like it is about 85% improved over it's condition a few days ago. I don't know if it's coincidence or not, but I thought I'd pass it on just in case some of you would like to give it a try on your kitties to see if you get the same positive results.

Be Certain to go to this site below also for intensive write up by Michael Zigler DVM, Cert.V.Ophthal.

  • Herpes Virus Infection in the Eye-Feline Herpetic Keratitis-very descriptive article by eye vet-"Corticosteroids may be used in the treatment of chronic herpetic stromal keratitis to suppress the potentially scarring immune response if used carefully and in conjunction with an antiviral agent. Steroids are contraindicated if epithelial or conjunctival involvement is still active, because they delay re-epithelialization, prolong virus shedding and may allow conjunctival and corneal epithelial infection to involve the corneal stroma. Alternatively, topical Cyclosporine may be used with caution to reduce the scarring associated with herpesvirus stromal keratitis."
  • kcs-Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye"Commercial tear replacement products such as Tears Naturale II, Hypotears, and Isopto-Tears are suitable. Artificial tears alone do not lubricate as well as natural tears, so we recommend the addition of a lubricant in addition to the use of artificial tear solutions. Lacrilube, Tear Gel or Hylashield Nite are suitable...Corticosteroids (cortisone drugs) cannot be used when ulcers are present because they decrease healing speed and enhance the ulcer process. "..he also mentions cyclosporine as one of latest drugs
  • Eye problems stemming from eyelids..written by Dr. Hacker
    Blepharitis,Chalazion,Eyelid Tumours,Entropion and Ectropion,Lagophthalmos,Eyelid Agenesis(coloboma),Epibulbar Dermoid,Eyelash Abnormalities("Trichiasis is a condition of normal hairs lying on or irritating the globe. Examples of this would be very long facial hairs in long haired dogs and nasal folds in the Pekingese. Also tiny hairs at the nose side of the eye can act as a wick and cause tear spilling in Miniature Poodles and Persian cats. Distichiasis is the condition of eyelashes coming out of an abnormal position such as the glands that are located along the eyelid edge. Districhiasis is more than 1 eyelash coming out of each of the gland openings. Ectopic cilia are abnormal hairs that exit a hair follicle on the inside of the eyelid. Ectopic cilia are very painful. The successful elimination of the offending hairs will require surgical treatment. ")
  • Feline Corneal Sequestrum" Caution is required however, as some cats with sequestrum are positive for feline herpesvirus, and topical steroid may incite reactivation of latent herpesvirus infection. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for feline herpesvirus is recommended for cats with corneal sequestrum."

    FelineHerpes and related informationLINKS

    Since Snowball was diagnosed with feline herpes, I started investigating alternative treatments to help prevent flareups and have looked for natural soothing remedies. Some I have tried and some I plan to try. Some herbal treatments might be worth trying instead of antibiotics. Antibiotics help rid secondary symptoms but can create their own problems- ie constipation for one..Snowy had three prolapsed colons and I am convinced the virus plus the antibiotics made him an accident waiting to happen.

    Alternative suggestions

  • CaliciVirus
  • feline calici virus

    Feline Upper Respiratory Disease Complex

    peteducation's write up on upper respiratory disease complex..but they leave out fungal possibilities 100x27 v1